We are so excited and pleased to announce that you can now order your copy of our first book, put out by Orphan Justice Center, called “The Strength of the King!” Two of our amazing staff members, Sharon Karns and Marci Lewellen worked tirelessly to get this very special project done! This book is amazing! If you have a heart for justice and want to know how you can have a part in helping orphans and widows, this is a must read! This book will give you a Biblical perspective on God’s heart for justice. It’s impacting and life changing! Follow this link to order “The Strength of the King” and please let us know your thoughts on the book http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-strength-of-the-king/18420708.
Archive for October, 2011
We are such a quick fix society, the get it now, the hurry-up-and-do-it of marketing and the pressured pace of modern life. We don’t really want to wait for anything.
I remember standing in line at a coffee shop a few months back listening to a customer literally yelling at the person who made his coffee. She “didn’t do it right,” she “took too long” and because of her “incompetence” he was going to be late for work. I watched as her countenance fell, her cheeks turned red and her head hung down, as she softly said, “I’m sorry.” She was beaten down by his words. He took a second sip of his coffee, shaking his head in disgust, violently tossing the cup into the trash, screaming expletives as he walked out the door. I stood in shock and told the frightened worker how sorry I was that she had been treated that way. As I walked out the door with my cup of coffee in hand, I began thinking about how sad, unfulfilled and ungrateful so many people are. It really wasn’t about the coffee for this man who was so rude. He was obviously very ungrateful and unfulfilled in his own life so it was just natural for him to spill out his rage onto this precious worker (and… I’m sure onto many others in his life as well).
I began thinking about the majority of the people in the world who don’t even have $3 or more to spend on a special coffee. So many are scrounging for food in garbage dumps and living on the streets with nothing but the clothes on their backs. My heart sank at the reality of all of that, and as I was driving back home I began to cry. I was overcome with thankfulness for all I had. It was a “God moment” for sure.
As I sipped on my warm cup of coffee, I kept thinking about all the ways God moved in such radical ways on mine and my family’s behalf. The children we brought in to our family through adoption have been totally changed. They had known nothing but abandonment, fear and pain in the early years of their lives… and then in an instant, Jesus literally handpicked them to be ours. He placed them in our family, gave them a new name, REEDEMED, and radically transformed their lives, physically, spiritually and emotionally. There are no words really to capture the thankfulness that is in my heart. God knows….
Even our biological children have been transformed, having greater compassion and incredibly tender hearts before God, right in the midst of the greatest grief they’ve ever walked through (the loss of their Daddy). I don’t take that for granted! Only God could work that into their little hearts. We had so much love and life packed into the years we had with Derek. He loved us well and we were so enriched by the example of his life. He was a gift to us all. He was God’s gift to us all. We were and still are very rich in love and that is also God’s very precious gift to us. ”Look what God has done!” Those are words my children hear me say often!
It’s been quite a transition for me to be the head of our household now. I’ve had to learn to do many of the things that Derek used to do. At times I feel a little fearful and overwhelmed, but you know what? I’ve learned to trust Jesus in greater ways than ever before. He has become my Rock, the One I lean on when I feel weak and my soul is downcast. I’ve learned to put my hope in Him more than ever. He has been Jehovah Jireh in every area of our lives; physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. He has never failed me or my family and I know He never will. His promises are true and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can trust Him. For that I am so thankful!
As we approach the Christmas season, I’d like to challenge us all to remember how blessed each of us is.
Instead of thinking about all we wish we had, we should think upon all we do have, in the gift of Jesus alone. The fact that we know Him and have been forever changed because of His sacrifice (for us) on the cross and because we have the hope of Heaven, we have been given a priceless and eternal gift.
Almost every day presents an opportunity to take for ourselves, or to give to another. I love this quote by Mother Teresa. “Small things done with great love will change the world!” Those “small things” will also change us, conforming us into the image of Christ, as we walk with obedience and a thankful heart!
This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. I would like to ask each of you to remember the orphan as you begin your Christmas shopping. What can your family do without? A few less presents under the tree and stockings not quite filled to overflowing, could mean that you would be able to give financially to someone you know who is adopting. Or, you could also give to an organization that helps to sponsor orphans in need. It could literally mean the difference between life and death for another to receive your gift. I don’t say this to cause you guilt or to condemn you. This is actually a mandate from God (to care for the orphan). I’m just asking you to consider the orphan and to do something on their behalf.
Reach out to someone and bless them, with your only motive being to love them like Christ loves them. Take an even greater step and do it without telling anybody about it. Do it for God’s eyes only. You will feel the pleasure of Christ…and there is nothing..nothing on earth that feels better than that! It will also produce in you a very thankful heart! Be blessed by God’s love and all that you have. You are rich, because you have Him!
Thank you to those of you who have been the hand and heart of Jesus to me and my children. I am forever grateful for each of you! I pray that God blesses you with an even greater understanding of His most amazing love for you!
Much love and appreciation for each of you precious ones!
Renee’ and tribe
37…….Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
We read many stories in the Bible about how God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things! They were weak and broken people who took that step of faith and they watched as God opened up heaven on their behalf and provided in every way.
If you’ve even heard the whisperings of God, telling you to adopt, will you take that step of faith today and move ahead? Those of you who can’t take a child in, please consider supporting someone else’s adoption? Let’s make an everlasting difference in someone’s life today. Let’s make God’s great name known by walking out James 1:27 in the most radical way!
It’s really no mystery that all of us have suffered hurt or rejection in some way throughout our lives. For some of you that hurt came, from those who should have loved you the most and the best. Because of that, the rejection cuts even deeper. Those kinds of wounds can only be healed by the unconditional acceptance and love of Jesus. Until we find our identity and worth in who we are in Christ because of His love for us, we will continue to seek our worth somewhere else, naturally leading to chasing the approval of others.
It’s natural for us as humans to seek and to want man’s approval. Most of life is based on performance and rank. In Ecclesiastes 4:4 Solomon said, “I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind.” Trying to find our worth based upon our positions and performance or the acceptance of others is is never going to satisfy or fill the void that rejection and hurt has left in our hearts. It really is striving after wind.
Our society has taught us that as women, our value is based on our youth, our beauty and our figure. The majority of us will never look like the cover girls on magazines. There can be competition between friends based upon who they’ve married and how well or how poorly their spouses treat them. Some women may even try to find their value in how well their children do in school, sports and other activities.
On the other hand, men tend to find their worth in who they are dating or married to, where they are in their status at work, how much money they make or how great they are at sports, fixing things, the size of their home, their possessions etc….
So much of this is so ingrained in us that many times we don’t even consciously decide to compete and compare ourselves with others. We can do it without even noticing. We chase after the wind and we can become so trapped and enslaved by temptations that can absolutely destroy us and those we love. We are trying to find our worth and identity not based in how God values us but in what others think of us. This is why movie stars, musicians, sports starts and well known people valued in the media are glorified. People can live under the illusion that if they too were rich and famous, then they would be happy. That’s a complete lie. In fact God created us to only be satisfied in the true source of our satisfaction which is in Him. He is the only one who can bring wholeness, healing and fulfillment to our lives.
We need to ask Jesus to work in us, giving us hearts totally devoted to Him, hearts that find their identity and worth in Jesus alone. With Him we will find full satisfaction and rest, not striving after vanity and things that will never satisfy. In faith, ask God to break the chains of seeking man’s approval and ask that He would root you and ground you in the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus, who loves all of His kids equally. We’re all his favorites and we all need to find our worth today in the only One who is worthy.
Be blessed in the knowledge of Jesus’ great and committed love for you!